PUBG
Illustration by Soham Sen/ThePrint

It’s been a cruel week for India’s young people. Not only did students have to sit for JEE Mains in a pandemic, the Narendra Modi government also banned PUBG. Talk about brutal.

But hey, Modi’s surgical strike on apps may just have won the gratitude of scores of Indian parents.

Ads code goes here

With this, PUBG has become the new political divide in families now.

The Modi government banned 118 Chinese apps Wednesday. But PUBG’s ban is definitely going to hurt a significant proportion of the population, mostly grownup men who prefer not acting their age. The mobile game application altered the very social fabric of India — prior to this, no videogame had really garnered the obsession that PUBG did. Pokémon Go did come close, but let’s be honest, a ‘macho’ shooting game is much more likely to be a top favourite for so-called gaming fanatics.

For the uninitiated, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG, is an online multiplayer game that requires a player to gun down multiple other players. This is not a new concept for the video-game world, but the unique thing about PUBG was that it could be played on any smartphone.

Despite the fact that India was PUBG’s biggest market with 175 million downloads, which is 24 per cent of the app’s global total, our country’s love affair with PUBG could not last very long. In the now immortal words of Arnab Goswami — “The suddenness, the sheer suddenness of the move”.

The irony here is that PUBG is not strictly Chinese. It was designed by Irish game designer Brendan Greene and developed and published by PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of the South Korean video game company Bluehole. The mobile version of the game, however, was developed by Tencent, a Chinese multinational conglomerate.

Well, so much for that surgical strike.


Also read: PUBG, Baidu to WeChat Work — Here’s the full list of 118 Chinese apps banned by Modi govt


Dudebros’ grief, Indian parents’ relief

PUBG was the bread and butter for ‘dudebros’ who made quite a few bucks by live streaming themselves gunning down pixelated figures on a screen. Additionally, it also gave these men one more thing to mansplain to women. After the ban was announced, every woman must have gleefully texted that one guy who tried hard to get her hooked on PUBG by saying, “Videogames are amazing, and even though you’re a girl you should try it”. Red Dead Redemption and The Last of Us, who?

The game had fed their steady stream of narcissism, giving many men an opportunity to be good at another useless thing, and even make money off it. At the same time, feeding their machismo. What is more ‘manly’ than randomly shooting people on a screen?

I am especially concerned about engineering students. What will they do now, as one Instagram user rightly asked. Read books? Oh, the horror, the horror.

But there is a group of people apart from deshbhakts and loud news anchors who must be rejoicing this ban — Indian parents. It’s safe to imagine them thanking whichever god they prayed to free their laadle bacche from the sinful grip of the online game. Parents did not approve of the addictive nature and violent themes of PUBG. In an editorial on 20 March, the Navbharat Times was so incensed by the game that it said that children were turning into ‘psychopaths’ because of it. And no, this does not constitute ‘meaningful conversation’ about mental health.


Also read: Modi can’t ignore students anymore. They have discovered the power of the ‘dislike’ button


PM Modi’s crafty manoeuvre

Now, while Indian PUBG fanatics must be wallowing in the pain of losing a loved one, one has to admire the craftiness of our prime minister’s move.

In the past few weeks, there has been a fair bit of strife between students and the government. With UGC making final exams mandatory, Delhi University’s horrendous online exams, and most recently, the refusal to postpone NEET and JEE, despite a raging pandemic and protesting students — the government has made life particularly difficult for students.

In response, students launched a ‘dislike’ campaign on Modi’s latest Mann ki Baat, which would have probably been embarrassing for the prime minister.

Cut to a few days later, the government has banned PUBG.

Not only did he one-up the students, Modi also won the gratitude of the parents, or rather his potential voters. If only this much strategising was done on the LAC.

But PUBG is now banned, and there is nothing much to do other than reminisce about those pixelated, violent scenarios with video game buddies, and miss trying to make PUBG an acceptable date conversation. For those who truly cannot bear the loss, here is a shradhanjali (in memoriam) stream to enjoy. I don’t get the appeal, but I guess you will.

PUBG will be sorely missed for its contribution to already messed up Indian masculinity (not). But I, for one, am happy to never hear this phrase again: “Winner, winner, chicken dinner”.

Views are personal.


Also read: Someone in Imran Khan government is clearly angry with left-swipes on Tinder


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

12 COMMENTS

  1. modi govt. Should have to be give a warning to pubg corporation to cut down the agreement of tencent games/else pubg will be banned in india.but,no think about it why moi govt.what is the reason behind banning pubg then immediately announce made by Akshay Kumar fau_g game.after knowing that how much the love affair is going on with pubg by boys & girls of India.also,there 25% of India’s econony is earned through game.simply,it means playing politics & changing money between hands of poilitical leaders & cunning bussinessmans.its really creul thing did by modi govt.on students first thing is exams in this pandemic situations,2ndly is emotionally attracted pubg game.i don’t think in the next election modi govt.will survive.We students & youngsters won’t support/vote to modi govt.these political leaders will face our anger for sure.they will must be punished for what they did to us by the vote power of every educated student & educated youngsters.!!#that’s all I can say for now.

  2. At least,modi govt. Should have to be give a warning to pubg corporation to cut down the agreement of tencent games/else pubg will be banned in india.but,no think about it why moi govt.what is the reason behind banning pubg then immediately announce made by Akshay Kumar fau_g game.after knowing that how much the love affair is going on with pubg by boys & girls of India.also,there 25% of India’s econony is earned through game.simply,it means playing politics & changing money between hands of poilitical leaders & cunning bussinessmans.its really creul thing did by modi govt.on students first thing is exams in this pandemic situations,2ndly is emotionally attracted pubg game.i don’t think in the next election modi govt.will survive.We students & youngsters won’t support/vote to modi govt.these political leaders will face our anger for sure.they will must be punished for what they did to us by the vote power of every educated student & educated youngsters.!!#that’s all I can say for now.

  3. have some shame on you. you only know it’s a video game, but if you have a freaking mind you actually know it’s a gaming life and yeah it’s a profession. first learn to respect others feelings and then try to make articles.

    • A sad attempt to sound witty and “woke” at the same time. This line of condescension might be hip in some US university leftist tabloid but in a real news publication, it sounds sad and desperately virtue signalling.

      If you had actually played RDR2 or the Last of US 2 , you would realize how retarded and foolish your comparison between those games and PUBG is.

      Its clear you have no idea about games or the gaming culture. Yet you choose to drop names and take sides in issues you know nothing about. In doing so you only expose yourself as a hack journalist. You are a pretend gamer pretending at gaming journalism and journalism in general.

  4. This brilliant tamil Brahmin lady wants to be cool….

    Can’t someone in India give her a scholarship to USA , hopefully to the journalist school in NY ?

    Then she can write rubbish and the liberals can be happy reading the stuff…

  5. Please use kind and sympathetic words to the gamer community. You are clearly using culturist and agist remarks on the zoomers and millenials.

Comments are closed.